The Power of Knowing Your “Why”

What I’m about to write is largely inspired by a conversation I had with oboe/cor anglais player and performers coach Jessica Mogridge as part of her “experiential presentation” about identity inside the Wellbeing for Musicians Facebook group (if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend you take a look, it’ll be available until the 12th March 2021).


Jessica is the kind of person who asks good questions. And one of her questions to me and anyone watching that day was “Why do you do what you do?”.

Music School Concert

Rocking the recorder a few years back.


You see, in my case, I started learning music very young. In fact, I learned to read music before I even learned to properly read words! Before I knew it, I was spending most of my afternoons after school at the music school. Chorus, singing, flute, wind orchestra, you name it. It was my world.

And so it happened that when I was about 14 and deciding where to go next after grammar school, my then flute teacher asked whether I’d like to apply for a place at the local conservatory (a specialist music high school). I didn’t even stop to think about it. It was a no brainer.


Years later, I started asking myself, how was it that I stuck with this career? Getting a job as a musician is no piece of cake. Let me tell you, there are lots of kids out there with a flute who want to make it as a professional musician and the thought of giving up crossed my mind more than once.

But here’s the thing, you need a powerful “why” to take you through those difficult times. I wasn’t aware of mine at the time but having been asking myself this question for a while, I finally figured it out. So here it is, my “why” condensed into three parts:

  • Love of music

This is the core of my “why”, I wouldn’t have been able to keep going without it.

  • Community

Music was a place where I belonged with people I resonated with (no pun intended :) )

  • Excellence

Playing the flute was something that made me stand out.


Self-study is a crucial part of the larger yoga philosophy so I invite you to think about your “why”. And for extra points, feel free to share your thoughts inside the Wellbeing for Musicians Facebook group.


I’m not a fan of long blog posts so I’ve decided to break this one into two. Next week – why I teach yoga for musicians.